Short version: An original and eco-friendly case for using your iPad around the house, but if you need screen protection or plan to travel with it, the Kork isn’t the best choice. Note: this is for the iPad 1. The makers of Kork have told me they are planning an iPad 2 Kork for a month or two out, so hang tight!
- Made from 100% cork
- Sculpted shape holds iPad tightly
- Speaker notch directs sound in your direction
- MSRP: €49.95 (~$67)
- Unique look and feel
- Grips iPad firmly
- Comfortable to use, feels durable but not artificial
- You’re still a little afraid it’s going to fall out
- No screen protection
Not too much to say about this one; the pictures really explain what’s going on here. The Kork is a case for the iPad 1 that’s entirely made of cork. Its natural elasticity causes it to grip the iPad quite strongly, though it’s easy to get in and out: you just sort of bend the case backwards.
The material is a little more than a third of an inch thick and has a sort of puffy aspect. It’s not meant to be compact, it’s meant to envelop and be a sort of big bumper around the device. Its texture is corky — comfortable to hold and easier to grip than the plain aluminum back.
All the ports and buttons are easily accessible, and the speaker cut even has a little angle to it that supposedly fires the sound out at you instead of straight down. I wouldn’t say it makes the speaker sound better, but it’s sure better than just covering it up, as some cases have done.
I’d be a little concerned that the cork acts as an insulator for heat, but that’s not something I can really test. I doubt it’s much worse than a foam-padded case, though, if at all.
The Kork fills the role of a basic protector rather than a full-blown case. There’s nothing to protect the screen and it’s too large to be an effective travel case. If your iPad never leaves the house, and you primarily hand-hold it (as opposed to docking, mounting, or standing it), the Kork is a cool and eco-friendly way to prevent dings and bumps, and to make holding the device a little more comfortable.